The Lord has recently opened my eyes to how much I’ve been living in fear. I know I wasn’t always this way because, growing up, I was the only one of my sisters who wasn’t afraid to go into our “creepy” basement. I loved chatting with people I didn’t know, my thoughts were overall light and airy, and I was simply along for the ride in all situations. Somewhere along the line, however, my mind shifted. I started thinking about all the things that could go wrong, projecting situations and conversations that never happened. I started believing plenty of lies about myself and that the world is nothing but a dangerous place full of dangerous people.
Like I said, though, the Lord has recently opened my eyes to how much I’ve been letting myself dwell in these fears. I realized this in my current season of life, which includes a lot of travel. Don’t get me wrong – I love it and have been praying for this to come to fruition for years. As a classic overthinker, however, now that I’m frequently on the road and only two months ago my husband and I had gotten in a bad car accident, my mind is in what feels like constant panic mode. Particularly, every time I get in the car, my mind wanders to worst-case scenarios, and I borrow scenes in my head from the accident I recently experienced.
A few weeks ago, on a day I was particularly aware of how fearful my mind has become, my older sister, who also happens to be my spiritual mentor, shared a verse of Scripture with me that still makes me cry every time I read it. Psalms 121:7-8 “The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” I decided to write this down and keep it in the car so that every time I’m in internal panic mode, I read this verse, and it pulls me back to the truth and reality that my life is in the hands of a God who loves me and wants good things for me (Jeremiah 29:11). I have come to realize how little I’m trusting in the Lord in those moments of fear.
If I believe and live out the truth that “not a hair on your head will perish”, and if I trust that the Lord does indeed have good plans for my life, how can I be living in this constant fear? I know making this mind-shift starts with trusting more in the Lord, but it also includes learning and training myself to recognize when those thoughts creep up and stopping them before I allow myself to spiral downward.
This is my prayer for you too, brothers and sisters, when it comes to overcoming fear. To take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). What does this look like? It means thinking about “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8). It may not come naturally, and it may not be easy, but I know that God doesn’t want you to be living in fear anymore! I know this to be true because the Bible actually says the phrase “do not be afraid” 365 times! I encourage you to use this phrase, the verse I shared earlier, or a different one that speaks to you, as a reminder for every day of the year, not to be afraid. God is with you, and He is for you!